Independent Trainers – Raising Your Fees – How Can You Successfully Resist Discounting Your Value?

“When you start to discount your product and service fees, you discount yourself” – Matthew Hill, 2018.

Warning – This is a deliberately challenging piece for independent coaches, trainers and mediators – Here we face your fears and habits! If you are feeling brave today – please read on…

As marketing guru, Seth Godin states, discounting represents, “A race to the bottom, and, nobody wants to win that race.”

“Lower your prices!” – The command of many larger companies

Angebot / Sale / Rabatte

Yes, we are asked to lower our prices. Tesco have bullied many a supplier in search of an illusive extra 1% margin. And where are Tesco now? Recovering from a UK scandal around playing fast and lose with numbers and suppliers. Or, GE.

GE famously hit a new moral low in the late 1990s when they asked their hard working and loyal suppliers to enter a reverse auction to compete with each other to offer the cheapest rates for their established a premium quality services. The losers won that round! Damned if they did and damned if they didn’t.

***Shame on all bullying corporations***

(I believe they have seen the error of their ways and now moved from their macho transactional approach to a more relational and strategic one, that, surprise, surprise, serves both parties better.)

Are THEY Discounting?

Do the biggest software providers, retailers and banks offer a 70% discount to their largest customers? – Do they give away the best of what they have because they feel they have no choice and are experiencing a little light bullying? NO!

Then why do we?

When you discount – You devalue.

Eventually, when you, or your market, are fully commoditized, the corporate customer will select their suppliers based on how near, quick and cheap you are. Your premium quality product is now a tin of supermarket tomatoes. End of Story. Again – Is that what you want?

Defend your value

At the moment, there is a bizarre training phenomenon out there, where the webinar version of the classroom experience is being given away at unsustainably low prices. I have no clue who started this, why it continues or why those involved don’t wake up, smell the coffee and correct this damaging business practice. Is all learning devalued by making it remote? Are the corporates deliberately ordering an inferior service from us? What is happening here?

Man holding speedometer with value word. Business concept

Value your value

Supporting your price.

Continuing with the webinar example. The point that is being missed by the discounters is value. Your course either has intrinsic value or it does not. If it does, then it makes sense to highlight that value, defend that value and, logically, charge out at that value.

Cost – One purchasing department argument runs like this – The provider saves money on travel and hotels when they don’t have to perform at a hotel or corporate office, and, they should pass back that saving. Yes and remote learning sessions save the company more money, so that is not a compelling argument. The saving has already been made at their end. There is no need to erode the trainer’s price.

Quality – The real cost is hidden from view. The widespread practice of discounting training rates takes out senior trainers from the marketplace, as they cannot afford to work with these silly rates. When juniors take their place, outcomes deteriorate and the supplier brand is diminished. This then prompts the corporate…to ask for a further discount. Is it only me that thinks this is short termism taken to an absurd degree?

Confidence – Individual trainers, coaches and mediators suffer from imposter syndrome, inferiority complexes and financial scarcity. We need to get over all three. Everybody has imposter syndrome – the only people not affected are the truly deluded. On a good day, you either think your product is worthy or you don’t. If not, you need to plump up your LinkedIn profile and get a job with a salary. If you value yourself, good for you – Now start charging sensible prices. If you are suffering from an inherited poverty script – Deal with it – See the T Harv Ekker Millionaire Mindset film – Link at the bottom.

Young friends having fun outdoors drinking red wine glasses - Happy people eating seasonal local food at harvest time in farmhouse vineyard winery - Youth friendship concept on warm vintage filter

Utopia

What if we lived in a world driven by fair value, where experts were respected and encouraged to share their wisdom in exchange for reasonable reward? A world where they could give of their very best, knowing they are appreciated and can work without fear, giving openly, partnering with the best, striving for the most productive mutual outcome? How glorious would that be?

Baby steps

The next time a principle or corporate asks you to shave your fee – Stop and think. What does this mean? What is the cost today? And, what will the cost be tomorrow – For you and the business world? Let us value what we do. Let us value ourselves and let us be courageous enough to ask what we are worth.

It begins with self-respect, saying no to discounting and asking for fair value fees.

Negotiation – When you are told you are too expensive – be warned – it is a trap – image what they are really saying is, ”that you need to get on a slippery slope that ends with poverty, frustration and exploitation.”

*Remind them you are not in the tinned tomato business but offer Intellectual Property Assets that are essential to the future of their business.

*Remind them of your qualifications, experience, knowledge and wisdom.

*Expand on the value you provide and move away from price.

*Explain that value is related to the benefit they receive not just the short term damage they can do to you by taking away your money.

*Claim your worth with price and confidence.

*Stick to your guns, employing the broken record approach to communication, and,

*Start to celebrate your new financial independence and recognition. You have earned it.

Good luck claiming your full worth.

About the Author – Matthew Hill helps independent Trainers, Coaches and Mediators build their independent businesses allowing solopreneurs to project the best of themselves to the best audience possible, and, at the BEST RATES. Here is a link to Matthew’s Going for Growth in 2019 coaching bundle.

https://culture99.wordpress.com/going-for-growth-remote-course/

Film Reference – Here is a great film by T Harv Ekker on poverty and wealth mindsets. Do yourself a big favour – Get the family to block out an hour this week and watch it all together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpJbP6OToFE&t=853s

Vector speedometer scale

Claim your WORTH

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Putting Together The Shortest Business Winning Marketing Sequence Possible with Matthew Hill

Will you take up the €10 Challenge?

We sometimes set a simple exercise in the Going for Growth Bootcamp. The task is to design a marketing sequence that generates a profit of €10.

It sounds a bit silly but the point is this. If you can get your products, voice and marketing together for this simple exercise – THEN – €10, €1000 or €10,000 will become a possibility for you very soon!

Vorderseite neuer Zehn Euro Geldschein aus der Europa-Serie

Will you take up the €10 Challenge?

Where to start?

If you have a friendly, warm and GDPR compliant database start here. You are putting out feelers to them to sound out their interest or invite them to some form of interaction / demonstration that will take them from “know you” to, “like you, trust you and understand your offer.” That is quite a leap in one contact so it had better be a warm and fruitful encounter…

Invitation

There is a 14-Point invitation formula that works. Elements include connection, hopes and fears, 3 points of education, scarcity and a Call To Action – CTA. The formula works. And, when I say works, I mean it will be 10 times as affective as a nice and polite letter that a non-marketer would send out.

WAFE Warm And Fruitful Encounter

  1. Interactive speech – Here you gather them in a space and, with a special presentation formulation and sequence, help them to deepen their sense of need and lack and therefore create a gap in their lives that can ONLY be filled by your product or service.

    Microphone over the Abstract blurred photo of conference hall or seminar room with attendee background, Business meeting concept

    Speaking is the number one converter of colds to customers

  2. Selling Webinar – Again with the right content and sequence, you can easily sell to your warm crowd that you have developed and captured in your database. (Filling up your database with warm contacts is dealt with elsewhere.)
  3. Demonstration – My day job is leadership and talent training – The obvious demonstration of my work will be a short training course – If the prospect is less that 2 hours away, I offer a live half-day and we all play nicely. And, if they are further afield, I provide an educational demonstration session via webinar. What will you demonstrate?

Call To Action

With these WAFEs I am aiming to shorten the warming process, accelerate the trust building path and get the client qualified in (or out) at lightning speed.

Take it Off-Line

The aim is to have a warm and qualified prospect talking to you about your offer. It can be a tiny one – A book, or, it can be a large one – A transformation and change programme. It does not matter. The key is to get into a one-to-one interaction where you can match your selling communication with their buying process and reach a mutually beneficial outcome.

Matthew Hill culture trainer 07540659995

Take it off-line

Conclusion

In less than 500 words you have read an overview of a minimalist marketing sequence that WORKS. I hope that is efficient enough for you. I know you are busy. If you wish to talk about the 14-Point invitation structure and how you could adapt it for your business, do feel free to give me a call. +44 7540 65 9995.

Like and share

Thanks, Matthew

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a trainer, coach and public speaker helping trainers, coaches and mediators to build their business, reach profitable independence and give back to society.

 

 

Classroom Training for Companies is NOT Dead! And, here is the business case.

10 reasons why classrooms beat screens – An opinion piece by Matthew Hill

At the moment I am battling with a large client to “save” classroom face-to-face training against the passionate arguments from a few of their senior directors who wish to take ALL content on-line and deliver educational content via virtual E learning packages.

Their logic for this centres on time, money and travel.

Time Management Course

The way they state it, in the long run, if the company builds, say, 100 units of virtual training, the job is done – There will be relatively little further expense. In their utopian vision of the future for education, the company will not have to move people around, book flights and hotels, repeat live training or pay for group suppers and trips to the local town amusements etc. From a purely financial perspective this is both understandable and correct.

But, What is missing here, and what is going to be lost?

Save the Classroom – 10 Things to Consider…

  1. Realism

The classroom affords a much more realistic representation of a corporate meeting, a heated discussion or a simple live pair dialogue. It is this realism that will adds educational value later when the participants are locked in conflict and combat for real.

Studies in learning impact mostly conclude that the closer a learning simulation is to reality, the greater the transfer is, making the new competence ready for use in an actual live and important work scenario.

So, the 3D simulation of realistic soft skills, leadership and change exercises found in classroom encounters is going to almost always be more fresh, alive and more nuance that its virtual equivalent.

You don’t learn to ride a bicycle by reading a book.

  1. Stimulation

A half decent facilitator will bring the room to life, the group to life and the material to life. They will add energy, manage the group dynamic, warm up the participants and use humour, drama and stories to illustrate many key points and, at just the right moment. This makes a difference in driving home the learning and makes any training session, special and memorable. Let us contrast this with many conversations I have had with corporate executives bored and frustrated with long, repetitive and “averaged out” on-line training materials. Just the delivery channel alone represents an unwelcome addition time tying the stressed executive to their laptop.

We are suffering from a plague of screen fatigue.

Change management course

  1. Tailored

A live training does not have to average out the talent in the room and cater for the median delegate. There will be the strugglers, the walkers and the sprinters too. They have different needs, separate learning style preferences and each has an ideal individual tempo. In a live encounter these subtleties can be serviced in many ways to help everybody to get to progress, satisfaction and a fuller understanding of the learning on offer.

One size does not fit all.

  1. Concentration

A great trainer will sense the corporate commercial context they are walking into and feel the energy in the room. Have some awful financial figures just been released? A round of redundancies announced? Has a product or service just failed? Or, is there a tension due to an on-going external threat such as Brexit or US trade protectionism?

The trainer is there on the ground and can shape the day and absorb concerns whilst leading the group to the commercial and educational objective via adapted strategies and behaviours that respect the bigger picture and the current perceived reality.

And, they can respond to the energy levels in the room by scheduling a break or putting in an extra exercise to manage the concentration or mood of the group live, as opposed to guessing the concentration span of the average participant months in advance and having to ignore any real time distractions.

Live energy management adds to great transfer outcomes.

Diverse group of people at a community center. Meet and greet.Group exercises

  1. Exercises

Spending live time with people gives more possibilities – Role play, team building initiatives, group discussion, feedback – giving and receiving, physical breakout groups and the live reconciliation of differing opinions, learning styles and behavioural preferences as experienced when any two or more people get down to business.

Dynamic simulation exercises leads to excitement leads to retention.

  1. Questions

The effectiveness of the classroom is realised when dealing with magic learning moments that are thrown up by a group interacting around critical topics in the intimate and personal space of the classroom.

With on-line delivery, exceptional cases beyond the obvious ones cannot be catered for, as the learning piece must, by definition target a lowest common denominator of material and methods.

When an average person gets stuck, they represent more than themselves. Live, the teaching can be paused as the facilitator illuminates the troubling topic from a new perspective to ensure understanding. It can be in these simple moments that the “aha” breakthrough occurs for many. Or, when the genius delegate spots something that even the experienced facilitator has not come across before. These incidents can be special and make the live event stand out in the memory of the participants and lead to the company attaining a level of awareness or breakthrough.

More,

Those break-time chats or questions can save lives and careers, starting when a quieter member seeks out help. They can do this because the facilitator has established a safe space with sufficient levels of trust and confidentiality for the confession or enquiry to occur. Early intervention can make a significant difference to outcome.

Cater for the exceptional, the quiet and the cautious to help the whole corporation.

  1. Networking

The opportunity in the classroom to meet new people, experience the philosophy of other departments and gain knowledge of alternative points of view from a variety of counterparts can be a major contributor in gluing together a disparate multi-site organisation of virtual workers so creating an esprit de corp that will produce a lasting benefit experienced in elevated levels of cooperation and exchange during a project or around the creation of a new product in the future.

Inspiration can be all around us.

  1. Retention

When pre-reading is assigned, this can be tested for comprehension in the room. During the session, simple memory techniques can be applied to help the learning stick. When a trainer asks what have you learnt to each participant, something powerful and effective occurs. There is a richer processing of the materials, a personal commitment to owning content and a chance to challenge any part of the material just covered.

Profound and intense exercises are the way to max the stickiness of material, and, a post training conf. call can further aid retention with 3 questions; What do you remember from the day? What have you applied and it is working? And, what have you attempted to apply and it is not working?

Deeper interaction leads to greater retention and better application.

  1. Collective Mistake

The best argument for the live classroom comes in the training moment when a collective company-wide misapprehension is revealed. If everybody at Company X believes something to be true and the trainer can show that an alternative explanation or method is valid, there can be a step evolution in outcome. The magic of modern time management or leaving the comfort zone during change are two excellent examples of this, where the majority view does not always represent the “truth” of the matter.

Live training can challenge group-think in a unique and powerful way.

  1. Cost

The number one reason for the shift to on-line learning platforms is cost. But, classrooms do not have to be so expensive and a more dynamic version, blended in with any pure on-line can really make a difference.

When training days are attached to regular conferences or regional meetings, the travel costs have already been apportioned. When the benefit of constructive networking, trust building in reducing escalations or the forming of profitable collaborative partnerships is added back in, the cost per head becomes more than attractive again.

And, in the spirit of constructive compromise, when a summary film is made, pre-reading materials are edited to boost charisma and energy, and, follow up training is delivered by live webinar, the live and virtual costs can be averaged out. When we otimize the cost of classroom and virtual live exchanges and create better non-live materials, we help the finance department to approve investment in training. This then helps generate exceptional knowledge retention to please the L&D department and stimulates and helps create competent and connected workers who now enjoy training sessions put on by the company.

A networked, trusting and collaborative team will beat a siloed one, every time.

Action

Please like and share if you agree with the arguments we have put forward, if you enjoy classroom training, or if, you feel that the classroom is a relevant space for learning, development and business improvement. Thanks.

Have I missed anything?

Can you add to the business case?

Please add any constructive comments that will add value to this piece. Thanks.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a soft skills trainer working in Europe delivering dynamic group training live in the classroom.

 

SIETAR Netherlands Code of Ethics Film – Webinar 25th June 2018.

 

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 09.42.05

To see and hear the whole webinar in recorded form simply click on the link and follow the instructions.

https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/566268671271223042

And for the Code of Ethics itself.

SIETAR Netherlands Code of Ethics July 2018

Building your Independent Business – Q. What do I do first? A. You need to build 4 products. by Matthew Hill

Strategic Approach vs. Quick and Dirty?

Having just returned from the SIETAR Switzerland congress in Lugarno where I was surrounded by enthusiastic independents, many of who were busily growing their own businesses, one question struck me as most important – What do I do first?

Building tool repair equipments

To build up a complete marketing funnel with experienced based assets takes time. It can be a multi-year project that will require dedication, thought and plenty of external energy and opportunity.

As I have said many times – This build centres on 4 products – 1) The Professional Interrupter – an attention grabbing and valuable asset that is strong enough to stop a busy and successful decision maker for long enough for them to take notice of you. 2) The Product 4 Prospect Asset – An exchangeable item that promises the delivery of value to a cold contact in return for their Opt In – you give them some knowledge and value and they give you their first name, last name, E Mail and permission to contact them. Simple. 3) The Trip Wire – Another small and valuable package that represents a bargain for the price. What could you build and sell for €20? It must represent more value than the perceived cost would indicate, so that you can convert cynical and critical outsiders to become insider tribe members who can warm to your intelligence and experience. 4) Your Core Deliverable Product – The thing you are most passionate about, sold to the insider tribe member, who is ready to appreciate what you have crafted. They KNOW it represents value and, so, will happily pay a premium to receive it.

Building a Crowd.

There are many contact points required and much interaction to build a warm and loyal crowd who will come to know you, like you and trust you to a level where they will confess their flaws, weakness or gaps and ALLOW you to help them. The key here is your reputation – Something that is built in THEIR hearts, stomachs, minds and memories. Remember – they own your Brand. That is where it lives – with your audience, your list, your database, and, in your new family of followers.

Quick and Dirty

Having said all of that (in 350 words) there will be irresistible opportunities that pop up and come your way, out of the blue, and that can generate great commercial returns.

Here it is about scrambling all of your resources together quickly to construct a credible offer and take advantage of this one time gift.

80% is good enough.

Is it time to fight the perfectionist in you and get that outline out quickly? Are you prepared to fill in the gaps later? And. Will your expedience pay off?

What should I do first?

So, we come to a hybrid approach – Keep on track with your long strategic game of building high quality and long lasting assets AND go for it when the sun shines just for a moment. Ironically, it can be those one-time deals that help build your credibility in the longer term and, reacting quickly to lightning chances can really help you to build your resilience, agility and intelligence when it comes to marketing and closing deals later on, when your company is fully formed and ready to take on all comers.

About the Author Matthew Hill is a trainer, author and coach helping new independent trainers and coaches to get more business in through the door. He is running a Going for Growth bootcamp for independent trainers in The Hague, 17th to 19th August 2018. Details at culture99.wordpress.com.

The Hague, the Netherlands

The Hague – Where the next Intercultural Training Channel Bootcamp will take place in August 2018.

Trainer Resources – 4 Actions To Help You Avoid A Training Day from Hell – Protecting Yourself In The Classroom – by Matthew Hill

How can you prevent horrible feedback, crazy conflict and difficult delegate behaviour?

We have all been there. It starts with a funny feeling in your stomach and then a look or comment from one of the alphas in the room. What is happening? you ask. Am I loosing the room? Lunch is tense and then, there comes an excuse why a few people don’t give in their paper feedback forms at the end of the day. You leave feeling that you put in plenty of effort but that, somewhere along the way, you and the room parted company and were travelling along different roads.

Group Of Businesspeople Gossiping

Horrible Feedback is Horrible

The next day you receive a troubled E Mail from your L&D contact within the company or the provider who supplied you with the subcontract day. And it is all bad news from then on in.

There follows a list of your “crimes” and how negative and upset the room were. Etc. etc. etc.

STOP

It does not have to end like this. Let us make the classroom safe for you again with 4 simple actions…

  1. Rules of Engagement

I always offer up an agreement at the beginning of a training day, coaching or even a speaking engagement. It shows professionalism and represents a light negotiation with the audience where they have a chance to shape the experience they expect and sign up to some rules emotionally. Ultimately, they will get more from you and your session.

My favourite one is, “Be Teachable”. It sounds simple and is profound. Do they think they know this stuff already? Will they have strong opinions about your content? Have they been brainwashed with stereotypes and are poised to attack?

By asking them to take a fresh look and let the material in, you are setting up a space that will allow for maximum exchange with minimum conflict. (Civilised challenge is allowed and even encouraged – Not disruptive conflict.)

And, when we add, “Respect Each Other”, you are sending a deep message about honour and civilised behaviour that will sink into the unconscious minds of the tricky participants and so protect yourself by raising THEIR self- awareness.

  1. Facilitate more than Tell

In these modern times, spraying theory at bored pupils will no longer be accepted. The room now want their share of the microphone and to tell their story.

Interrupt less, correct less and listen more.

Listen at a deeper level and add constructive input at the end. No more death by detail, 75 word slides and learning by rote. Now we are flipping the classroom with interactive exercises and intelligent debriefing. The less you say the more the class will enjoy your session.

  1. Less Essentialist and More Co – Constructed.

I still meet Interculturalists who can’t wait to put flags all over bi-polar dimensions, talk about China and India as if they were homogenous monocultures and peddle sophisticated stereotype as if it where going to help a remote team or diverse group dealing with the stresses and strains of an urgent and important project.

Let us take some responsibility upon ourselves to keep up with the modern world.

  1. Your Authentic Story

Your delegate’s exposure to Social Media and Netflix box sets has whetted their appetite for compelling narrative (and it better be as real as possible.)

Converting your personal experience into useful stories that carry a transferrable wisdom is a great way to engage your audience, build rapport with the group and get them on your side.

Dig to find a relevant story and share it at the right moment. Not too long and told from a humble or witty perspective. Keep the story light, though the meaning may be deeper.

So, with these 4 tools, we can avoid the alpha challenge that signals the end of learning for the day and the start of an awkward defence of your training style and content.

Go save a life – Yours.

Good luck with your next group session…

Matthew Hill is an Intercultural trainer, coach and author.

Contact him at hillmatthew100@mac.com

 

Leading Across Cultures in Practice – by Fernando Lanzer Book Review

How resolving our differences shapes our culture

This book represents an overview of the differences between national cultures, and how those differences influence people’s behaviour in business, management, and, in work situations in general. The book manages to develop beyond simple work etiquette and a list of “do’s and don’ts.” Rather, it looks at the underlying values that determine how managers deal with their direct reports, how people communicate at work, what is considered a priority and what tends to be put on the back burner according to each country culture. All of this is communicated in an easy style that is not too academic or technical.

Lanzer Book Cover

Lanzer starts with a panoramic description of the basic concepts describing culture and how interest in the topic has grown due to globalization. He focuses on five of Hofstede’s dimensions and explains why he stops there and leaves out the others.

The book contains a valuable resource for trainers and intercultural enthusiasts – 150 pages describing real-life practical examples gathered from six countries that represent different types of cultures: the US and UK (Anglo Saxon cultures), Germany (Germanic cultures), the Netherlands (Dutch-Scandinavian cultures), China (Asian cultures) and Brazil (African and Latin American cultures).

These sections contain relevant stories that are directly transferable, though they could be better balanced: the section on the United States is more extensive than the part covering the UK for example.

No book is perfect and another book on dimensions and essentialism is not on the top of anyone’s list for urgent reading. And this book does not present new research, new data, or anything moving beyond culture value dimensions as an approach to understanding culture.

Near the end of the book, the author addresses some of the critical issues often raised in discussions with workshop participants: the relationship between culture values and religion and the dilemmas that each culture seeks to resolve. Lanzer has some slick and functional answers and concludes that these dilemmas are universal: what differentiates one culture from another is the way they find to resolve their main, contrasting issues.

Who should read this book?

The book will be of special interest to those getting acquainted with the topic of culture and diversity, and who seek a plain speaking and clear approach to the culture dimensions model as introduced by Professor Geert Hofstede.

Amazon link to buy the book;

https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Across-Cultures-Practice-Fernando/dp/1977620574/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509106338&sr=8-1&keywords=Leading+Across+Cultures+in+Practice

About the Author

Author Lanzer

Fernando Lanzer Pereira de Souza is a Dutch Brazilian psychologist and consultant who worked in AMRO Banco Real in HR & L&D in Brazil.

He founded the leadership and OD consulting firm LCO Partners 10 years ago with his wife Jussara who is also a psychologist and consultant.

He travels the world servicing his clients and visiting his four daughters who live on different Continents. Fernando is a former member and Chair of AIESEC International’s Supervisory Group. He now sits on the Board of Trustees of ISA – the International School of Amsterdam.

Are You Just Too Busy? And is it Good Busy or Bad Busy?

When would NOW be a good time to start your personal Trainer / Coach / Academic / Student – Time / Work Quality revolution?

  1. The Good Busy test. How much of the following (honestly) applies to you?

“I am Good Busy. My schedule is packed with exciting trips and assignments taking place in desirable locations, working with and for kind, progressive and generous clients who seem to understand me, appreciate me and, specifically, understand my worth to them.

Effective Time Management

They provide me with a stimulating brief that I am excited to get my teeth into. The work has plenty of variety, suits my strengths and allows me to be fully expressed, in the zone and at my best as I execute the work that I love.”

Have we described your life perfectly? Or, does this seem like a fantasy as you reflect on your work, your life and your lack of balance?

  1. The Bad Busy test. When I am not filling in or scanning endless administrative forms, I seem to be trapped in other types of unpaid, repetitive and unrewarding chores. Either that or I feel duty bound to travel and fulfil my Mephistophelean contract of vast acres of underpaid, boiler plate assignments in grubby locations with cheap accommodation, working with an unappreciative audience that would far rather be anywhere else than there. My clients are, under the surface, monolith factory sweatshops that employ above average people to perform stressful, complicated and disjointed work for little psychological  reward beyond beyond task completion, urgency and the avoidance of an escalation sparking the harsh tongue of a similarly stressed supervisor, hovering above them, micromanaging the process. I work in the cruel environment of complain scarcity. And I see now way out.

Both 1. & 2. are, of course, extreme exaggerations. The point of showing the contrasting stories above is to get you to feel something and recognise elements of WHAT YOU WANT and what you are stuck with and wish to ESCAPE.

The Symptoms –

*Does your heart race or sink when a new work order comes in?

*Do you ever feel ill or experience a mild panic attack on the way to work?

*Do you feel low on Sunday or drink too much on a Friday evening alongside your equally disenchanted colleagues?

*When you are asked, has your description of what you do become more cynical and dark?

What needs to change after summer?

  1. Audit. I am often asked what is the key to happiness when in the middle of the upheaval of changing country or job, and, one thing I learnt years ago is that externally enforced relocation, reassignment or revolution (or some thinking time in summer) is the perfect time to take stock of your situation and ask some profound questions of yourself…

*Who were you when you set out in the world of work?

*Are you still that person?

*What do you want from your day job in 5 year’s time?

*What do you want your legacy / eulogy to be?

*What do you enjoy most in your work?

*What work based activity fills you with dread?

*Are you healthy / happy / fulfilled?

*Are you EARNING what you are worth?

*Is the output of your work good, neutral or evil?

And

*Are you giving something via your job that is adding value to the broader human experience?

What can you Do?

  • Say “No!” – The breakthrough moment came for me working as a freelance trainer and coach many years ago. When I started saying no to discounted work, unfulfilling assignments, crappy locations, helping unprofessional or unprepared clients. When I rejected work that was meaningless, harmful or just a tick box exercise for a corporate customer, something shifted for me.

    Better fees

    “No!”

Instantly my life improved. I felt rebellious, free and more in control of my content, my audience and my outcomes. My income went up, my spare time went up. And, my boredom, stress and frustration levels went down.

My question became, “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Upgrade Everything – If you increase the quality of every little thing you work on and create something whole that is exceptional, people will notice – Your brand will become REMARKABLE and your place in the world will change.

+How can you turbo charge your next product?

+What will take your service levels to a place that commands and deserves a premium price?

+How can you find the courage to ask for an OUTRAGEOUS fee and keep a straight face?

+How can you create a niche that you will own, dominate and FILL with value?

+How can you spend your time being fully expressed utilising your value and being totally connected to your client, their objectives and your transformational talents?

Excited woman working at desk in office. Using antistress ball.

Conclusion – You get the life you tolerate, so maybe it is time to take action and raise your standards.

Action

If you have been affected by this blog post and want to start work after summer with a bang – Do feel free to drop me a line and we can have a 15-minute conversation.

I would love to hear your story.

Matthew Hill culture trainer 07540659995

Call Matthew

Thanks and “bon chance” for autumn. Matthew is at matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com

 

Independent Trainers – To Do List in 2017 for Success in 2018 – For Greater Revenue Growth

**16 Must Do Action for more days, higher fees and better clients

Recently, I compared notes with a returning Independent Trainer coming back to the UK and we talked about what you need to do to get back into circulation, get meaningful engagement with L&D decision makers and to generate more days, charge higher fees and make more money.

Here is a list of 16 essentials that will make up your 2017 To Do List! – Deadline – Christmas Morning!!

CTA Call to Action

To Do List 2017 for an amazing 2018

  1. Quality Photo Portrait – No, the cropped photo of you at a wedding with shoulders and handbags all around you is not going to get you to your £2,500 daily training rate. – Take the time to find an amazing photographer who is going to produce a professional picture of you that will build and support your premium brand.My beautiful smile
  2. Business Name – And don’t panic – if you have registered something awful, you can re-brand using your blog or website as something more sexy, catchy and searchable – remember – your company name is unlikely to attract any new enquiries via a Google search if it is all about you, as this will not be about your service or fit the customer’s search request.

Take the time to brainstorm over many pages and take an hour or two to do this and come up with 100+ ideas that could work. Don’t edit as you go – just vomit ink on the page!

Now pick the best combination of your words, make sure the final result is not taken in your own country and quickly secure the domain name for yourself. Job done.

  1. Business Card – Go up market, don’t put a fax number on it – It is not 1995. You do not need your postal address either. This is 2017.

And what about a strap line – Who do you help? What is THEIR outcome? Be creative.

  1. Deal Sheet – Who have you worked with? And what have you done with them? Some corporate customers will give you permission to use their name and even provide testimonials, endorsements and references that can really help you, so go for it. Some will not. And some are rather precious about their brand, so do be careful and NEVER break copyright laws – They are a venue generator for ambulance chasing lawyers. You can avoid trouble by putting all of their logos on a PowerPoint page, printing it out and taking it to meetings. When you flash this rich and colourful page in front of a decision maker, they will be impressed by the variety and depth of your contacts and will trust you more as a result.
  2. Professional Profile – Why not slip a bit of sales cleverness in here. Give yourself a strap line – “Regarded as the best X in country Y”, or put a verb in play – “Matthew helps Independent Trainers to maximise their revenues by providing Z.” Add a little about your core offering, prizes won, books published, key differentiators and a major customer name or two to really make this document work for you.
  3. Posts – I still encounter people who have yet to publish articles on social media. This is a big missed opportunity for them – A social media post is a flashing beacon of light illuminating your existence in the darkness of competition, short decision maker attention spans and shiny object distractions.

To start, simply think of the decision makers in your field and where their pain lies. What problem do they want you to solve? What do they want you to deliver? How do they want you to deliver it? These are the posts that you must be thinking about, drafting, improving. And then get it edited by someone good. And…put them out to LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and on your website / blog site as well.

And,

6a.Tag, tag, tag & tag – That is the magic way for your posts to live on forever and continue to do the marketing for you, even when you are sleeping.

Vector speedometer scale

Turbo Tag Your Posts

  1. Logo – It does not cost a fortune to get a cracking logo that will be visually appealing, high in impact and help key contacts to like you and remember you. Take some time to brief the agency on your requirement. What is your persona? What is your delivery style? What do you represent? What is your promise? Who are you target market – your avatar? And, what is UNIQUE about you?
  2. Course Outlines – In olden times, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, it was OK to put out the most boring copy imaginable and get away with it. Surprise surprise.

Things have changed.

Now we need a punchy title employing corporate world language and the benefits to be gained by attending delegates. The content should be in short blocks with a subtitle, exercises and the educational outcome for the participants clearly stated. In modern times, this outline is selling you. Let your outline super-copy do some of the heavy lifting in convincing your prospect to pick up the phone and bring you in for a cosy briefing chat.

  1. Exercises – Theory is so last millennium. The current trend is towards dynamic action based learning with full delegate inclusion – sweat, board markers and tears.

Include plenty of decision making, discussion, physical movement and innovation in your bag of tricks. If your training does not wow the crowd, you will be a one time, one hit, “I wonder what happened there?” trainer.

  1. Model – You have got to have a model. I have the Matthew 5 M’s for Accelerated Business Growth Model, and the Consultative Selling 13 Pillars. They give credibility, a framework for delegates to help them implement your brilliant ideas and a differentiator to set you apart from all the other trainers and coaches knocking on the decision maker’s door.

    A Model Will Generate Cash

  2. Blog Site / Website – I see so many people proudly unveil their expensive semi – animated websites as they confidently assume that a brochure site will heat up the phone and pay their rent next year. It will NOT. Isolated websites can no longer compete with blog sites where the SEO is instant and connected. You need a WordPress blog site to take off and get customers, along with a stream of high quality, original material in the form of blog posts and other products (more in a moment) that are tagged, tagged & tagged to bring you new traffic that is pre-qualified and ready to be warmed by your words of wisdom.
  3. Repurposing your content – PRODUCTS – This is the single most neglected area for Independent Trainers wishing to grab more days next year. They are missing the better fees, the hungry corporate customers and important opportunities for expansion.

I mean, how hard is it to read your best post into your smart phone to create a podcast? Today, there is no excuse – I started Podcasting in 2007 and it was a major technological challenge to get them rendered and uploaded on to the decent podcast sites. And, sometimes, it cost money to do so as well!!!

  1. Make a FILM – If you have got a nosebleed just thinking about recording the sound of your own voice, then you will probably pass out at my next suggestion…

When you add Camtasia (PC) or Screenflow (Mac) to your computer, you can record over your PowerPoint slide deck to create an MP4 film – This is the future. Films are it. Films are what people want – You can add them to your training. You can add them to your marketing and you can add them to your social media to really bring up your marketing game to a competitive level.

  1. Show Reel – When you have made enough films and have purchased your Hey Mic to record your live speeches, you can then paste together the best of your output to make an outstanding and memorable training show reel to wow all that see it. You can send this to corporations, agencies and speaker agencies as well. You will officially be playing in the big leagues.
  2. Key Note Speech – If you seriously want to move your fee levels up from discounted subcontractor rates to the main professional independent tier, then you need to turn your training experience, your life experience, your persona and your model into a Key Note Speech.

    A Key Note will get them Storming The Stage…

This will be something persuasive, charismatic, fact filled and moving. And, it will set you apart from the also trained, the theory pedlars and the chaff.

Use minimal visuals – stunning pictures work well, a bit of punchy music and, “Meet the audience where they are” with your content, technical detail and pitch level.

And,

Record all your speeches for feedback and improvement purposes as well as to bulk out your show reel.

  1. Webinars – What do you get when you put your films, keynote speeches, products, models and charisma into a live show? A mind blowing webinar that acts as an unbeatable demonstration vehicle for all those people who are a little too far away to meet and warm up with a lunch.

Think of this as 3 months marketing achieved in 60 minutes.

Essential for your webinar is to get interaction, to have real decision makers at the other end and to put your best work into producing something lively, interactive and value packed.

That’s it – Your Things To Do list for the rest of 2017 – And the incentive? If you get started, keep going with persistence and focus, you will enjoy more training days, with better paying clients, more interesting delegates and you will end the year with a smile on your face, a pot full of cash and a fist full of great testimonials saying that you are an AMAZING Independent Trainer.

Need help to get started? How far down the list did you get when you switched from, “Done that!” to “Oh, I’d better do that”?

If you need some help, support or advice please do feel free to E Mail Matthew at; matthew.hill@hillnetworks.com

Wishing You – May every training day you deliver in 2018 leave you happy, richer and more fulfilled through delivering great wisdom with great value to a fully appreciative audience who then clamour to have you back again.

And. All the best with your To Do List in 2017.

 

About the Author – Matthew Hill provides coaching and courses for Independent Trainers wishing to build their brand and IP, up their marketing game, deliver effective independent content and enter the big leagues when it comes to compensation and client acquisition. He has worked in 30 countries and worked with people representing 80 nationalities. This year he wrote his 4th book – Going for Growth in 2017.